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Kenyan Mary Keitany wins the women’s New York Marathon title

WASHINGTON United States (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Mary Keitany and Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa turned in stunning performances to win the women’s and men’s titles respectively at the New York Marathon on Sunday.

Keitany dominated the women’s field with a breathtaking display of distance running, coming home more than three minutes clear of her closest pursuer in 2:22:48 to win her fourth title in New York.

The 36-year-old clocked a stunning 1:06:58 for the second half of the race to come home in splendid isolation.

“I didn’t want to rush at the beginning to suffer at the end,” said Keitany, who won in 2014, 2015 and 2016 before this year’s race. “I wanted to be comfortable so I could be strong at the finish.”

Behind Keitany, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya had to be content with a runner-up spot in 2:26:02 after struggling with a variety of injuries.

“I am happy to be second today,” said Cheruiyot, four-time Olympic medalist and this year’s London Marathon champion. “I had a hamstring injury and knee and calf injuries so I was running in pain throughout.”

Shalane Flanagan of the United States was highly emotional as she reached the finish line in third place. The defending champion battled strongly in the closing miles to get herself on the podium by clocking 2:26:22.

“I’m proud that I kept fighting even though there were some tough moments there,” said Flanagan. “I’ve had an unbelievable time competing here.”

The men’s race was a far more competitive affair, with the winner in doubt until the final sprint in Central Park. Desisa ultimately prevailed to claim his first title with a powerful finish, with the Ethiopian edging his compatriot Shura Kitata to win by two seconds in 2:05:59.

“I am very, very satisfied to be the champion. I have finished on the podium before and this time I trained so hard, but with everything under control. Today is my day. Thank you, New York,” Desisa said.

Ethiopia’s Kitata was second with 2:06:01, with defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor having to settle for third in 2:06:26. “I’m really happy to finish on the podium,” said Kamworor. “I tried my best and gave it my all.”



Kenyan champ Abraham Kiptum aims at winning Abu Dhabi Marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- World half marathon record holder Abraham Kiptum of Kenya has shelved plans to compete at the Xiamen International Marathon in China and instead will compete at the Abu Dhabi Marathon on Dec. 7.

Kiptum, who is also the Daegu Marathon champion, had wanted to race in Xiamen, a southeastern province of Fujian in China in January, but his management has confirmed that he will be running earlier in Abu Dhabi just one month after breaking the world record in half marathon in Valencia.

Kiptum broke the men’s world record clocking 58:18 to take five seconds off the mark set by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese in 2010. Now he hopes his top form will be enough to help him secure his second marathon title this year and in fast time.

Valencia is also the city where Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei broke the women’s world record in 2017.

“I would like to reach the midway in 1:02:30 and finish under 2:05,” he said of his plans for that race on Sunday.

“I know the good shape my body is enjoying at the moment is optimum because I set a best time last month in Copenhagen but I was eager to run in Valencia. It has one of the flattest circuits I have ever run and I was confident of improving on my best. But to set the world record has exalted me.”

Indeed Kiptum will be a man under pressure in Abu Dhabi as he targets to force his way to the winner’s podium and in doing so, convince the selectors he is ripe for the Kenya team to next year’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

“The next target will be to run in World Championships. But that is not up to me to decide. I want to do my job and let the selectors have tough time to leave me out of the Kenya team,” he added.

Kiptum will now focus on training in November as he seeks to conquer the Abu Dhabi course.

“I have already resumed training and my body is showing no signs of fatigue or slowing down. I was only competing in Valencia to improve on my time. Right now, I can say I am focused and working hard for my next race,” added Kiptum.



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